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San Diego pets paying price for unaffordable vet care

It’s raining cats and dogs in San Diego animal shelters and medical affordability is a growing reason why.

Those who have pets — 1.2 million in San Diego County, Lt. Dan DeSousa of the San Diego Department of Animal Services estimates — know that veterinary bills don’t come cheap. As the squeeze of the economy gets tighter, pet care for Americans gets further and further out of reach, and ultimately, it will be the animals who pay the price.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, 4 million cats and dogs — about 1 every 8 seconds — were put down in shelters last year. Locally, many of those animals are euthanized for medical reasons, as governement agencies cannot afford to help each and every case brought in, though they try.

This photo, courtesy of DAS director, Dawn Danielson, depicts many of the situations animal shelters see every year, from broken legs to starvation to severe burns. Many of these animals go on to live happily adopted lives, but too many still do not.

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Jennifer Reed is SDNN's health and wellness editor. She can be reached at jennifer.reed(at)sdnn.com.